In Others’ Words: Lesson Learned

Tomorrow quote John Wayne 2014

I like John Wayne. To be more specific, I like his movies. Some of my favorites are Hatari, Hellfighters, The Quite Man, Rio Bravo, The Searchers … okay, I’ll stop there. I had fun weaving my love of John Wayne movies into to my newest novel, Somebody Like You. My heroine, Haley, likes John Wayne movies too.

I have a few favorite John Wayne quotes — and I added today’s quote to the list. “The Duke” is often remembered as the actor who portrayed cowboy heroes or military heroes and had a bit of an odd hitch in his giddy-up.

But then you read a quote like today’s … and you realize the man-of-few-words was watching life, living life — and forming some insightful opinions.

There are several nuggets of truth in John Wayne’s quote and I appreciate his perspective on how tomorrow arrives “clean.” But my favorite segment of today’s quote is this:

[Tomorrow] hopes we’ve learned something from yesterday.

That sentence gave me pause. Do I take the time to stop and think — and process — the lessons learned from each day? Do I apply them to my life so they make a difference in who I am and how I live out the next day?

Sadly, I don’t think I’m always that intentional.

But I want to be.

In Your Words: What did you learn from yesterday — and how does it change today?

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  1. June 4, 2014, 7:04 am   /  Reply

    Actually, I do the opposite. Like Merlin, I live backwards, learning how to meet today through the experiences I’ve had tomorrow.

    It may be the achievement of a dream, informing the actions that were necessary to reach it; or it may be my own death, and the days of grace and composure that made it honorable.

    Maybe this is a particularly silly form of sophistry, or maybe, like Tennyson, we can dip “into the future, far as human eye could see, (saw) the vision of the world and all the wonders that could be”.

    I do know this. If I listen to yesterday, it’s telling me that today’s gonna hurt. If I listen to tomorrow, it’s telling me that pain is necessary part of birth.

    • June 4, 2014, 11:12 am   /  Reply

      Ah, Andrew: Your perspective meets your challenges in such a unique way. And I love it!

  2. June 4, 2014, 7:23 am   /  Reply

    Great and surprising quote. Thanks. Tomorrow and it’s freshness & possibilities is probably one of the best gifts of TIME. Yesterday serves to provide lessons, not torment, and we embrace today and look forward to tomorrow.

    • June 4, 2014, 11:13 am   /  Reply

      Isn’t it a surprising quote, Dee?
      I smiled as I readied it for today’s post.

  3. June 4, 2014, 7:51 am   /  Reply

    Learning from yesterday. If we don’t learn from yesterday, we are doomed to make the same mistakes, so yes, I did. Some things I’ve learned in yesterdays past: I will not take a two-hour nap and expect to sleep at night. I will not put something I don’t have the cash for on a credit card. I will not stick my tongue to the clothesline in freezing weather.

    • June 4, 2014, 11:15 am   /  Reply

      Lots of lessons learned from yesterday, Pat.
      I realize I didn’t post any of my lessons learned. Here are a few:
      1. Start getting ready for bed earlier in the evening if you want to get in bed before 11:30 PM.
      2. Be willing to tear a story apart to find the better story.
      3. Errands are always more fun with someone else.

  4. June 4, 2014, 9:58 am   /  Reply

    What a great quote. Honestly, to take time to learn from yesterday, I have to take the time to think it through. That’s where I usually fall down on my game. I’m exhausted by the end of most days, and I don’t want to think about the day anymore. I want to sleep. 🙂

    I can see how taking a few moments at the end of a day, or at the beginning of the next could be helpful in growing and learning….. Hmmm.

    Yesterday taught me that if I stay up too late, I am in need of a nap during writing time today. I don’t want to repeat this lesson. 🙂

    • June 4, 2014, 11:15 am   /  Reply

      Yeah … napping during writing time.
      Totally understand that dilemma.

      • June 4, 2014, 2:16 pm   /  Reply

        PS—Forgot to mention, I really like The Quiet Man!

  5. Susan
    June 4, 2014, 11:07 am   /  Reply

    Great quote! And I love John Wayne too. My favorite was True Grit:)

    • June 4, 2014, 11:16 am   /  Reply

      Another “in common moment,” Susan.

  6. June 4, 2014, 4:05 pm   /  Reply

    “hopes we learned something from yesterday.” I just get up each morning and go headlong into the coming day. I don’t look back on yesterday. I need to add this to my morning’s quiet time. I might not learn anything new each day but talking with God about the day before will enrich my approach to today.

    I love Hatari!

  7. June 4, 2014, 11:02 pm   /  Reply

    I like pondering the idea of being more intentional. That was my husband’s word last year. It really makes a difference when we practice it.

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